#10: Rational and Coherent ArgumentsDifficulty: 4 Effectiveness: 1 If you were to go to the library, and start shrieking demands at the clerk to research the best persuasion techniques history has recorded, you might hear a timid suggestion that you deploy a rational, well thought out argument, instead of, for example, wailing obscenities. This is because the pale and wan folk who live in this world filled with the words of dead men know nothing of the gentle caress of sunlight, nor how the world actually works.
Also, they hate the son of Hercules.
How the world works is this: it doesn't, because it is full of incredibly stupid people. Laying out a rational, well reasoned argument to an average American is like wearing a condom while eating at Burger King - it's ineffectual and makes everyone present confused and lose their appetites. The kind of mind that looks at a can of Axe Bodyspray and thinks "Hmmm, that's not a bad idea," is completely immune to the powers of evidence and logic. An Example: "Hey, friend, would you like to listen to me for a second? Worry not, you can continue to eat your tacos while you listen. How about you join me in my effort to make the world a better place. As you can see by the way my shoes have shoelaces, I've got a better handle on life than you do. This could really be a win-win for both of us."
Look at these gorgeous motherfuckers. These shoes could run your life better than you.
#9: OrationDifficulty: 6 Effectiveness: 2 By using well understood verbal and rhetorical techniques like pacing and voice modulation, in concert with powerful teeth whiteners, you'll be able to convince mass groups of people that despite what authorities and their own instincts tell them, yes, you should be put in charge of that parks board/state senate/volcano warning system and left to yourself, unhindered by prying regulators.
"THIS DOES NOT CONCERN YOU, EPA-MAN."
Unfortunately good public speaking skills don't come easy, and may be impossible for some people (Floridians) to learn at all. A larger problem, again, is the people themselves, with their corn-like intelligences. While the will be readily convinced while you're actually talking, as soon as you go away, they're apt to forget everything you said, and return to rooting around in their own assholes, or whatever they were doing before you started talking. An Example: "Attention friends! I'm looking for smart, intelligent, well-odored people, just like yourselves, to join me on an exciting adventure. Look at my teeth. LOOK AT MY TEETH. See the honesty and smell the future people!"
"I can seriously bite a pencil in half."
#8: Become a CoachDifficulty: 5 Effectiveness: 7 This classic, Svengali-esque method, involves taking on a legitimate position of authority with a wide mandate over your targets' lives, which dramatically increases the odds that they will be deferential to your morally dubious words. You'll soon have a ready made group of intermediate level ballroom dancers just waiting to be hurled into a fight with government agents, who will rue the day they ever entered your adult learning annex of the malevolent arts. The specifics of this technique involve alternating use of both generous praise and relentless, childish bullying - basically an escalated carrot and stick approach. I like tying my carrot to the stick with a short length of string, and using it as a flail. Then when I need to reward the students, I simply turn it around and strike them with the carrot end.
An Example: "CINDY YOU STUPID COW! In my basic PC skills class, you will follow my instructions to the letter! Just like Sandra is doing. Very good Sandra. Not like Cindy. Between you and me, I think her parents nursed her with kerosene. Yes I know that more than just you and me heard that."
Sometimes I'll douse a few in LSD and serve them to schoolchildren.
#7: Become a Media MogulDifficulty: 10 Effectiveness: 8 People like Rupert Murdoch and Oprah Winfrey have an outsized influence on the thinking of modern society, in a way that David Spade doesn't, because of the massive media empires they've established. Whether it's indirect, like the world-spanning conservative media empire Murdoch has established, or intimate like the personality driven Oprah-cracy Ms. Winfrey has built, a huge number of the public discussions today are influenced by these individuals. Now what's stopping you from doing the same?
Lack of stretch pants?
Also no talent and resources and charm? Even if you did possess these characteristics, it's hard work. I've been working on this myself for a few years, in the form of a column at a middle-brow comedy site. Building your audience isn't easy, and thanks to setbacks like that one mass suicide in 2009, it's slow work, burdened by tedious, transparent self promotion. Beyond that, the only other advice I can offer is to read my column every week, and write the url for it (http://www.cracked.com/blog/author/chris-bucholz/) on various surfaces around your home town.
An Example: "Beyond that, the only other advice I can offer is to read my column every week, and write the url for it (http://www.cracked.com/blog/author/chris-bucholz/) on various surfaces around your home town." - Chris Bucholz, February 1, 2011
Highly visible tattoos are also acceptable.
#6: Show Them the MoneyDifficulty: 2 Effectiveness: 5 When I find that I can't convince people with my words, I can usually convince them with my fists, assuming those fists are clutching wads of money. It turns out that - thanks to a primitive instinctual lust for Prada handbags inherited from our caveman ancestors - there're few humans alive that can't be bought.
Except for the people who make the bags of course. They envy no man.
Of course from a strictly technical sense, this isn't bending someone to your will, as much as it is securing temporary, conditional cooperation. To get these people in your camp permanently, you're going to need a steady supply of money to get them addicted and then dependent on your largess. If you have that media empire already, this shouldn't be too tricky. Alternately try leveraging an initial bribe to access the public treasury. This is called a kleptocracy, and there are absolutely no downsides to one, so long as you're the one perpetrating it. An Example: "Do you think that if there were three $20 bills in that ditch over there you could go have a good look at them for about 15 minutes, with your back turned to this container truck full of thorium? That's a sport. There might even be a fourth twenty if you look long enough."
Just stare at the sky for a few more wheels and everything will be OK.